Aloo Tikki, which loosely translates to “potato patties,” is a common Indian snack. It is made with boiled or mashed potatoes which are mixed with various herbs and spices before they are fried until it is crisp. 

I’ve made spiced potato patties in a variety of ways over the years, most often as a way to use up leftover mashed or riced potatoes, but when I was developing this recipe, I tried to make sure that the final tikki had a thick, fried crust and a salted, mildly spiced interior that was still fairly spicy in terms of capsaicin heat. I seasoned the patties to my personal preference, but you may adjust the flavor by adding various whole or ground spices, such as coriander, cumin, fennel seed, and amchur (green mango powder), to mention a few. However, you should stick to the same basic method, including the ratios of potato to starch and breadcrumbs, as they result in a solid, evenly-seasoned patty that fries up very crisply on the outside without crumbling.

In making this dish, I chose to use russets that had been boiled in water that had been well seasoned and acidulated, a fairly simple spice blend, potato starch and panko breadcrumbs as binders, and some finely chopped fresh cilantro and green chilies for flavor and heat. I gave up on the idea of cooking the potatoes in the oven because it would have resulted in a lower overall yield, would have required more time, and would not have produced better results. 


● 4 russet potatoes, peeled, and cut into small pieces 

● 3 tablespoons salt

● 2 tablespoons (30ml) distilled white vinegar

● 1/2 cup (36g) panko breadcrumbs

● 1/4 cup (48g) potato starch

● 1 tablespoon chaat masala

● 2 teaspoons garam masala

● 1 teaspoon ground Kashmiri chile powder

● ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

● One knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated

● 8 to 10 stems cilantro , finely chopped

● 1 hot green chili, minced (optional)

● 1 cup (235ml) plus 1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable or canola, divided, for frying

● Mint chutney, for serving (optional)

● Tamarind chutney, for serving (optional)


  1. Combine potatoes, 3 teaspoons of salt, 2 quarts of cold water, and vinegar in a big pot. Over high heat, bring to a boil; then, turn down the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fully soft and barely resist being poked. Potatoes should be strained and allowed to drain for 1–2 minutes. Place in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. In the meantime, combine the breadcrumbs, potato starch, turmeric, chaat masala, garam masala, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a small mixing dish. Stir with a fork or a little whisk until well blended.
  3. In a dish of still-hot, drained potatoes, evenly distribute the seasoned breadcrumb mixture and ginger. Break up any large pieces of potato using a fork or potato masher. Don’t overmash the potatoes because you want some smaller, unmashed potato bits in the finished mixture. Stir in the cilantro and chili with a spoon to evenly distribute the seasoning; the potato mixture should be above 140°F (60°C) after mixing.
  4. Roll three teaspoons of the potato mixture into a ball between your palms using clean hands, packing the mixture tightly together like you would a snowball. Ensure there are no cracks around the borders when you flatten the ball between your palms to form a puck (if cracks are present, smooth edges with your fingers). Repeat with the remaining mixture. Allow 15 minutes for the patties to cool to room temperature. (Patties can be kept at room temperature for up to two hours; cooling them in the refrigerator can make them mealy.)
  5. In a baking sheet with a rim, place a wire rack and line with paper towels. Heat one cup of oil in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add 8 potato patties and cook, occasionally turning, for about 2 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown. Flip the patties over using a spatula, and cook for a 2 minutes, turning the patties occasionally, until golden brown on the second side. Transfer patties to the wire rack that has been prepared.
  6. Repeat the process with the remaining potato patties, adding the final 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Allow patties to cool for about five minutes before serving.
  7. Serve potato patties on a dish with mint and tamarind chutney on the side.


By Elijah Hughes

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